This one is Abigail's fault. She reviewed Givenchy Harvest 2007 Amarige Mimosa on I Smell Therefore I Am, made me go look for it and fall ridiculously in love. It's even more surprising because it's not that Mimosa 2007 isn't even trying to hide its relationship with Amarige, a perfume to which I've been opposed for years (and forcing me to reevaluate* my stand on that one as well).
So, yes, Givenchy Harvest 2007 Mimosa is a gentrified Amarige. I've always considered the original a vulgar fruity-floral with a toxic tuberose (coming from someone who loves Michael it has to mean something) and a cheap vanilla base. In Mimosa 2007 the offending part, the melon note, was replaced with a hefty dose of sunny florals, especially violets and a nice helping of high-quality mimosa, both the French variety from Grasse and the more exotic Tamil Nadu mimosa from south-east India. It's the honeyed smooth influence of the mimosa that brings out the best of the peach and plum notes from the opening notes and makes them round and summery. I also smell the violets quite distinctly which is another nice improvement.
The overall impression of Givenchy Amarige Mimosa Harvest is honeyed, a bit fuzzy and quite ambery, in color and in nature. The base is much more refined than the original, despite very similar notes of cashmeran wood, tonka bean, benzoine and vanilla. I'm guessing that this limited edition perfume won the better ingredients and probably also had the proportions tweaked a little for smoothness. It's still very sweet and some might find it treacly, and definitely strong (in his review of the original Amarige, Luca Turin has suggested that if one must wear it, not only you should do it in private but also seal the windows. I can't really blame him for the sentiment). But I also find it not only wearable but also delightful and satisfying.
Notes: Mimosa (Tamil Nadu), Neroli, Rosewood, Mimosa leaves, Violet, Cassie, Gardenia, Jasmine, Mimosa (Grasse), Orange blossom, Ylang-ylang, Cashmeran, Sandalwood, Amber, Vanilla.
*My enjoyment of my Amarige Mimosa bottle has forced me to dig up a mini of the original Givenchy bomb I've been keeping for reference. I have a little extrait de parfum circa 1999 or 2000, which is only slightly less intrusive and violent than the common EDT. I smell the similarities and can appreciate even more the work done on Mimosa. I still find Amarige very difficult, even if I can now deal with it, at least in extrait, where the tuberose is not a monstrous mutant and I do wear the ambery dry-down pretty well. Still, I placed the bottle back in the back of the cabinet, where it will remain until further notice.
All the Givenchy Harvest perfumes are released as a limited edition. The 2007 Amarige Mimosa is sold out now, but there was also a 2009 version (I haven't tried it) that can still be found here and there.
Fashion illustration of Givenchy leopard print from inkbramble.com
Givench Fall 2011 from WWD
Givenchy hat, photograph by Frank Horvat, 1957